Rare Book Sale Monitor

Factsheet: Rare Books as an alternative investment: Tangible assets, such as Rare Books, are by nature, illiquid. Collectible books of interest have shown value appreciation over the years. Many more collectible books of less interest have not appreciated or have declined in value. Supply outstrips demand for all but the rarest books. Tangible alternative investments […]

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  Last quarter’s coverage of the big rare book auctions, focused almost entirely on the new price record set by a first edition of Sir Isaac Newton’s Principia Mathematica, which has become the most expensive printed scientific book ever sold at auction after a winning bid of $3.7m (£3m), nearly two and a half times […]

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The value of books determined by the Rare Book Sale Monitor (RBSM) is achieved by selecting comparable sales and adjusting the prices according to the differences between the comparable sales and the item being evaluated. RBSM comparative pricing is produced by adjusting the sale price of a particular title that is closely monitored, by accounting […]

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How exciting to investors could the introduction of a mutual fund that invests solely in rare books be? Before you rule that everything about it is controversial, consider this: The mutual fund industry has embraced alternative investing 1 sixty plus years later from the time that Harry Markowitz conducted his breakthrough research on portfolio theory based […]

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In the midst of the Greece crisis reaching yet another boiling point, the RBSM recorded little or no change in ancient, classical Greek authors’ works covering history, science, geography, philosophy and literature. It has definitely not been the type of economic event with significant impact on antiquarian books. The supply of ancient Greek books got […]

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Up until recent times, financial advisors have been reluctant to recommend “alternative” types of investments in collectibles, such as rare books, to their customers. Primary concerns circle around the factors of illiquidity, additional costs for storage, insurance, transportation and fraud. The lack of standard quantitative performance measurements comparing the long term returns of financial instruments such as stocks, bonds, […]

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The Rare Book Sale Monitor (RBSM) analyzes prices of rare books traded at on-line marketplaces, auctions and various book fairs to report valuation trends by genre and author.  The data collection process remained relatively static since the original collection was built back in 2011. The RBSM engine, however, has undergone several improvements in order to […]

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The April 2012 article titled “Adam Smith’s Classic of Modern Economic Thought,” articulated the difficulty in tracking price changes in rare books that exhibit limited transactional activity. The Rare Book Sale Monitor, which tracks monthly sales from multiple channels and compares them to historic quarterly pricing in order to report on significant shifts in pricing […]

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As every statistician or analytics professional in today’s environment can affirm, collecting the information is crucial, but not enough, since most of data’s value lies in its use.  While information is getting increasingly complex and there is certainly more of it, technology is actually helping unearth some of the insights hidden in the raw data […]

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During the last quarter, current political events had an impact on book sales of certain genre relative to a particular topic. A number of rare book journals and organizations reported that sales for George Orwell’s classic 1984, for instance, have skyrocketed in the wake of the National Security Agency scandal.  1984 makes a good summer […]

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